Test – should I quench for translucence? | Cara Jane Polymer Clay Test – should I quench for translucence? | Cara Jane Polymer Clay

Test – should I quench for translucence?

Posted on September 7, 2011

When I was doing my curing experiments I wondered if the quenching, plunging into ice water straight from oven, really did help with translucence. I had a few things ready to cure made with translucent Kato clay so thought I would quickly test to see.

I made 2 samples from translucent Kato polymer clay on a mid thickness in the pasta machine, setting 5 on an Atlas. Not sure of my reason for the  thickness, just what seemed right at the time. On reflection I may have made them thinner as any difference may have been clearer …. next time!

I cured them at 150°C for 20 mins and then plunged one into ice water and left the other to cool at room temperature. There is a fair amount of plaquing in each, I think it is due to cleaning the pasta machine rollers with a baby wipe just before conditioning this clay. Here they are placed over some bold text.

The sample on the right, with the bit  missing (cut out on purpose so I could identify them!) was the one plunged into ice water. After much scrutiny I decided that perhaps it was slightly more translucent, the text was slightly clearer through the clay (it is actually clearer in the photos, I was going to write it didn’t make a difference until I imported the photo, on checking again I can just about see it in real life too). It isn’t a huge difference though and as the translucence wasn’t critical,  I didn’t quench my items.

I want to investigate this further, I need to try a slow cool sample to see if that effects the translucence for items that require extra strength. I’ll keep you posted if I do but do let me know if you have any translucency tips.



  1. Go for Pardo, simply the most translucent….haven’t had much luck with the other brands. Thanks for testing, LOVE your tests!

  2. I really must try Pardo. I am planning on doing another brand comparison as I have some cernit here waiting to be played with too.

  3. Yes, I agree. The one on the right is clearly more translucent.

  4. I’ve tried Pardo Jewellery clay and I really didn’t like it. It was dry, crumbly and when I finally got it conditioned, it then went really soft. I hear the Pardo Art clay is the one to use (most transparent translucent) but I haven’t been able to find any to buy from the UK.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.